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I love conducting research for my books, especially as I write about exotic places, glamorous 5-star hotels, high-flying careers and lots of other fun topics.
The Australian hotel featured in The Convenient Bride is based very loosely on the beautiful, historic Hotel Windsor in Melbourne, albeit a very run down version of it. Built in 1883, this grand hotel predates both London's Ritz and The Savoy. I’ve stayed in the hotel a number of times for significant events such as important birthdays or anniversaries, so it holds a special place in my heart. I loved bringing my version to life on the page.
My books often feature first-class aircraft travel. I’ve been lucky enough to actually travel in the first-class cabin just once. I’d accumulated a stack of airline loyalty points and blew the lot on a first-class trip to London. It was surreal being offered Bollinger champagne and lobster as the lights of Sydney disappeared below. Needless to say, my heroines are just as awestruck by the luxury of first-class travel as I was.
My novel that’s coming out in January with Destiny Romance centres around a reality TV show. I used my experience on appearing on reality TV show The Dragon’s Den as inspiration for this book. When I describe being in the harsh TV spotlights, it’s based on personal experience. While filming the show, the studio lights were so hot I was sweltering under their intensity. I’d worn a leather jacket at the beginning of filming and for continuity, I couldn’t take it off for the entire shoot. Moral of the story, if you want to look cool, calm and collected on TV, don’t wear leather.
Many of my heroes and heroines often have high-flying corporate careers. I also use my experience of working for corporations such as Guinness Brewing Worldwide, The Ford Motor Company and the PR firm, Burson-Marsteller as a source of material for the many offices and boardrooms that appear in my stories. And for the record its true, lots of stuff happens in corporate lifts!
I try very hard to make my settings authentic, so it’s lucky I love research so much!
The Convenient Bride
In keeping with her part of the bargain, Sienna travels to Venice to be with Antonio, who introduces her to a life of great luxury and opulence. As befits the fiancée of the famous Antonio Moretti, Sienna is given a new wardrobe of designer gowns and outfits and instructed exactly how to behave when out in public. But after thinking he can manipulate her at will, Antonio begins to realize he has seriously underestimated Sienna, her intelligence, her skills, her courage – and her beauty. Unexpectedly, Sienna gets too close and when she discovers his dark secret, Antonio's perfectly planned life begins to unravel.